Sauber have another point to add to this seasons tally thanks to a tenth place finish for Kamui Kobayashi at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Japanese driver improved on his qualifying position of twelfth place to take the final points scoring position. He blamed a longer stint on hard tyres and lack of straight line for his failure to score more. “My result isn't great but perhaps one point is okay for today,” said Kobayashi. “For me the start was okay but at the beginning of my long stint with the hard tyres I suffered from a lack of grip and lost positions. Then, when the Prime tyres were getting older, I got a lot of understeer.
“When I was on the fresh tyres I could overtake both Toro Rosso but overtaking was not easy this time. You need good straight line speed to overtake in the first corner and I really didn't have enough of that.”
Nick Heidfeld, who started fifteenth, was punished for ignoring blue flags, and finished seventeenth. Needless to say, he was not happy with his day, but admitted to his wrongdoing. “Finishing 17th is certainly disappointing,” said the German. “The race started actually quite good, I managed to overtake a few cars on the outside in lap one. Then I was in that bunch of cars behind Adrian Sutil but actually I had not quite the straight line speed to overtake.
“I was just outside the points when the safety car came out and so the team decided to gamble a bit and get me in for fresh tyres. However, with the drive through penalty the race was over anyway. The penalty was absolutely justified. I just didn't know that Nico (Rosberg) was lapping me. I had blue flags already when there were a couple of cars between us and when he was behind me I could not tell if they were for him. I had a lack of information, perhaps because the team hadn't the information either. I apologized to Nico straight after the race.”
Peter Sauber was happy that Kobayashi grabbed a point, and said that Heidfeld was just unlucky today. “One point doesn't look like much, but Kamui fought very hard to finish tenth – this was a strong performance,” said the eponymous team owner. “Nick was unlucky, because he was stuck in traffic for much of the race. Then, after his second pit stop, he was penalized with a drive through penalty.”
Technical Director James Key said that Kobayashi was unlucky with the timing of the safety car – brought out after Tonio Liuzzi crashed – and that Heidfeld’s penalty was slightly baffling at the time. “An eventful race for most drivers in many respects,” said Key, beginning his evaluation of the race. “With Kamui we tried to start with the prime tyre considering that the track temperature was going to be high so warm up wouldn't be so much of a problem. We knew that his pace should be okay. Then he changed unfortunately just before the safety car came out, so we lost a bit of an advantage on the option tyres, but he did a good job to squeeze a point out of it.
“Nick started on the option tyres to have a fighting chance at the start of the race, and it was a fairly normal strategy with the prime tyres on the second stint. We pitted him to protect his position under the safety car, but then after the safety car he got a drive through penalty, which we need to look into it because we didn't see what exactly happened. We knew the proximity of Rosberg, but there was a car between him and Nico.”